Cardinal Tagle: True love involves service

Lou Gepuela

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Cardinal Tagle: True love involves service
On Holy Thursday, the Archbishop of Manila reminds his flock: Christ's death was in service to us

MANILA, Philippines – During his homily on Holy Thursday, March 24, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle asked Catholics to reflect on the true nature and meaning of love.

Starting his homily on how life is a series of crossings – of how a toddler crosses over to nursery school, and a child from grade school to high school – Tagle pointed out how, in these trying times, with so many vehicles on the road, it is not enough to look left and right before crossing. One must also look up, the cardinal said, lest something fall from above.

Tagle then touched upon the features of betrayal.

Sa bagay, sino ba ang pwedeng magtaksil, kundi kaibigan? Ang kaaway, hindi na puwede magtaksil; kaaway mo na ‘yon. Ang makapagtataksil sa iyo ay ang kaibigan, asawa, anak, kamag-anak,” Tagle said.

(Come to think of it, who else can betray us but our friends? Our enemies cannot betray us, they are already our enemies. Those who can betray us are our friends, our spouse, our children, our relatives.)

Takot na takot tayo sa mga ibang tao. Ang mga taksil, galing lagi sa inyong pamilya at kaibigan. No one can hurt you with betrayal, except your friends. Pero tumawid si Hesus,” he added.

(We are so afraid of other people. Traitors always come from our family and friends. No one can hurt you with betrayal, except your friends. But Christ crossed over.) 

Tagle then reminded his flock of how Jesus went above rage and crossed over to love.

Puwede naman siyang manatili doon sa mundo ng galit. Pantayan niya ang galit sa galit, pagtataksil sa pagtataksil, pero tumawid siya. Samantalang siya’y pinagtataksilan, ipinakita niya ang kanyang pagmamahal.” 

(Jesus could have remained there in that world of rage. Equate anger with anger, treachery with treachery, but he crossed. Even if he was betrayed, he showed his love.) 

‘You are not alone’

Tagle reminded the faithful that, no matter how challenging the road may seem, they are never alone.

At hindi lang siya tumawid na nag-iisa, kasama po niya tayong lahat. Kung ang mga Israelita, ginabayan ng anghel ng Panginoon, ni Moises sa pagtawid, ngayong si Hesus ang umaakay sa atin sa pagtawid kasama Niya, paghubog sa bagong buhay, sa bagong mundo…sasama ba tayo?

(He did not cross alone, he crossed with all of us. If the Israelites were guided by the angels of the Lord, by Moses during the crossing, now that Jesus is the one who guides us in the crossing with Him, molding a new life, a new world…will we join him?)

WASHING OF FEET. Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle washes the feet of Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista in a Holy Thursday ritual to commemorate the night Jesus was betrayed. Photo by Noli Yamsuan/Archdiocese of Manila

The cardinal also challenged Catholics to show their love of God through service.

At ngayon pong Jubilee Year of Mercy, napakakongkreto ng pagmamahal na iyan.Noong ako’y nagugutom, pinakain mo ako. Noong akoy nauuhaw, pinainom mo ako. Noong akoy walang saplot, dinamitan mo ako. Noong akoy may karamdaman, dinalaw mo ako. Noong ako’y walang masisilungan, pinatuloy mo ako.'”

(Now, during this Jubilee Year of Mercy, that kind of love is very concrete. ‘When I was hungry, you fed me. When I was thirsty, you let me drink. When I was naked, you clothed me. When I was ill, you visited me. When I had no shelter, you let me in.)

Finally, the cardinal issued a reminder, urging the faithful to reflect on the nature and depth of Christ’s love.

Siya’y nagmamahal hanggang sa wakas. Ganyan tumawid, may pagmamahal. Pero bukod sa pagmamahal, pinakita ni Hesus sa paghuhugas niya ng paa ng mga alagad, na ang tunay na pagmamahal, kasama ang paglilingkod. Ang paghugas ng paa ay gawain ng isang alipin. Si Hesus, tatawid sa kamatayan. Pati ang kamatayan niya, paglilingkod sa atin.”

(He loves until the end. That is how to cross, with love. But other than loving, Jesus showed that by His washing the feet of the apostles, true love involves service. Washing of the feet is the work of a servant. Jesus crosses unto death, and even His death is in service to us.”)
During this Holy Thursday ritual, Tagle washed the feet of 12 people, including Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista and his family’s helper for the past 30 years.
The cardinal is also set to lead the Good Friday service at the Manila Cathedral on March 25. – 

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